True goal-oriented thinking has made me happier, helped me achieve more and improved my relationships. What this means is I constantly ask myself, “what do I want here?” and I’ve asked this question consciously so many times that its become unconscious and I automatically figure out my goal, figure out the best path to it. We are almost always in some form of motivated state.
I want to distinguish desire from motivation. Desire is a part of motivation but not the only part. I can be motivated by fear, hunger, ignorance, desire, love, etc. The “best” kind of motivation is generally considered to be desire. We tend to think that conscious goals are the product of desires, and just ignore making fear a motivational force for conscious goals, which would rob them of their power if we did. So, we feel a desire and we translate that into a conscious goal. Why not do that to fears?
That sounds odd, I know. If I told you that one of my goals was not to end up homeless, you may think that’s an odd thing to call a goal. Most people just have a fear of becoming homeless and destitute, but if I say its one of my goals, I rob the fear of its power over me and can come up with a good plan to prevent that from happening. I usually then rephrase the goal into the positive, such as: I want to live in a comfortable home. The other major tip here is fear-setting, from Tim Ferriss author of the 4-Hour Work Week.
This is part of making fears and other “negative” motivations conscious, acknowledging them and then deciding whether to follow them. Here’s another example: in the midst of a fight with someone, I often stop and ask myself what I want. I Accept whatever comes up, and that means I’ve had to acknowledge that I want to be right, I want to blame others or that I want the other person to feel hurt. Then I can say, “those are not my goals. I choose to resolve this situation in a way that preserves and improves this relationship.” And that allows me to get clear-headed again. When I verbalize those motivations, they’re no longer unconscious or hyper-emotional and thus loosen their grip over me and allow me to choose more conscious actions.
In a final example: I value my emotional space and constantly ask myself what I want, and it is usually to feel happy. So, anytime I’m not feeling happy, I consciously choose to feel happy and find ways to feel happier.